Manuscript help, book reviews and author interviews
You don’t have to be a scholar or a priest to teach religion to children. Rather what works is simple, clean storytelling, that can help children (and adults) learn the meaning of rituals and the history of the people that follow the religion.
Artika Aurora Bakshi’s debut My Little Sikh Handbook was a delightful interactive book that introduced the origin and the tenets on which Sikhism is based. And her second book My Little Sikh Handbook II continues the journey of teaching Sikh culture and the history behind some of its unique rituals.
Spoiler alert: I loved this book even more than the previous one.
In it, Artika deconstructs the Ardas, the prayer Sikhs recite before and/or after any auspicious event. She explains the various components of the Ardas, and how it is not a static prayer, but one that has evolved with the history of Sikhs.
My Little Sikh Handbook II explains why the Guru Granth Sahib is sacred to the Sikhs and how it came to be the eternal guru for the Sikhs after the 10th Guru Gobind Singh passed on.
Most delightfully, the book has a little surprise: the recipe of the karah parshad – that yummy, ghee-laden parshad that is loved by all (and considered non-fattening because it is blessed by the Waheguru:-))
As with the first one, the book is chock-a-block full of patterns, quizzes, crossword puzzles and more to engage children as they learn about the incredible Sikh history.
Why a book on Ardas?
Artika says the Ardas had a special meaning for her when she was growing up. It was something her family bonded over, and where she made her desires known to God so he might fulfil them – for instance, to help her get a better grade. And when she became a mother herself, the Ardas became a focal point in bonding with her two boys.
The book is available on Amazon!